Epson BrightLink 485Wi - Image Quality
April 2012 - Anthony Arrigo
Epson BrightLink 485Wi Picture Quality
Epson projectors have always delivered when it comes to picture quality. The BrightLink 485Wi is a native 1280x800 resolution projector, with the capability to do higher resolutions as well. The BrightLink performed well in terms of image sharpeness in its native resolution. Sharpness was uniform across the whole image. Some ultra short throw projectors can have issues as it related to universal shaprness, but Epson seems to have designed this projector well. The image is comparable to any 1280x800 resolution manufactured by Epson.
The Epson also performed nicely when feeding the projector non-native resolutions. Image sharpness and clarity did suffer a little, but this is common with all projectors. To test the performance of the BrightLink 485Wi, I used an HDMI signal and ran both 1440x900 and 1600x900 resolutions through the projector. Larger text, in the 12pt and higher size range, looked fine, but if you were to be doing spreadsheet work, or if you were training students with the projector in a higher resolution mode, it would not show the various menus in a clear enough manner for prolonged use. You would want to opt for a high resolution projector suited to your needs. This is only in very special cases, for instance, if you taught AutoCad, or engineering software that has a very sophisticated user interface.
Epson BrightLink 485Wi Projector: Color
LCD projectors have never had a problem reproducing accurate color and the BrightLink485Wi was not an exception to the rule. DLP projectors on the other hand do have their issues when it comes to reproducing accurate color, but since the BrightLink uses 3LCD's to produce color, the image was very dynamic. I must admit there is actually a Dynamic Mode that Epson offers. This mode tends to really make colors pop, giving them a lot of punch, however this mode increases brightness considerably. Aalways be aware that the brighter you set the projector, typically, the less life you will have in the lamp. Below are some images showing the projector performing some basic primary colors in the various color modes the BrightLink 485Wi offers. I found the the variation in each was really how it made the color white look.
Epson BrightLink 485Wi Projector: Video Performance
The Epson BrightLink 485Wi was not designed to compete with home theater projectors, but the image quality was very nice. The projector is definitely well suited to be used as a tool in a classroom environment where video training might be what the projector is used for most often. Its ability to handle high definition signals, both component video or, HDMI, are not exactly unique, but the video quality was sharp and the constrast ratio of 3000:1 allowed it produce some pretty decent black levels. If you were to show some darker films, this projector can handle the job, and provide enough shadow detail. Remember, you can annotate over the video image as well. This is demonstrated below. However, when not annotating, you can easily hide the drawing tools.